Home Comics MCU shows on borrowed time: Why Iron Fist and Luke Cage got axed

MCU shows on borrowed time: Why Iron Fist and Luke Cage got axed

written by Damian Gordon October 30, 2018

Some fans rejoiced and others poured one out this past week as Netflix canceled Iron Fist and Luke Cage. Marvel’s black sheep was a mess that got its act together, while Cage was adored and still caught the fade.

This news speaks volumes on what is happening with MCU shows as Disney’s new streaming service is on the horizon. The answer to if Marvel is cleaning house or something less invasive is in the details.

The Iron wasn’t so hot

Danny Rand in Iron Fist

Iron Fist is about millionaire Danny Rand, whose plane crashed in a mystical land of Kunlun, spending years being trained by its warriors to become the next Iron Fist.

The first season of the show received a mountain of hate and criticism from fans & critics alike.  Rand is the Thanos of the Netflix MCU, except everything he touched turned to trash. Both Defenders and IF fell victim to bad scripts, direction and much more.

Iron Fist found its footing with Season 2 from new show-runner Raven Metzer. Season 1 head honcho Scott Buck, went to ABC to make the burning garbage truck called Inhumans. Remember that? No? Yeah, I’m blocking it out too.

Fans received a glimmer of hope over the summer after Danny’s guest appearance on Luke Cage. The episode featured a different Danny, more charismatic, less whiny and genuinely likable.

Season 2 arrived last month with a warmer reaction from fans. Episodes had better action, less cheesy dialogue and promising opportunities the next season could go.

The show kind of came and went in a week as the long-awaited Daredevil season 3 was announced shortly after. Seemingly, most people passed over the second round of Iron Fist, since the first went down like beer the bartender pissed in.

It is well-known that Netflix doesn’t release viewing numbers. However, for this announcement to come a month later can’t speak well for the viewership. If other MCU continue having mixed seasons, it is possible that Netflix won’t spend another dime and cut their losses.

The momentum wasn’t a Juggernaut and Disney doesn’t share

Jessica Jones season 2

The bad taste that Danny’s show left carried over into Jessica Jones‘ and Luke Cage’s second seasons. Although mostly positive, both received mixed reaction and not having the same buzz as their debuts.

Daredevil and the following shows up to Iron Fist came out to high praise and love for different reasons. Luke being a bulletproof black man in a society where his people are constantly gunned down by those in power. Jessica is a survivor of sexual assault and abuse with the show taking on many issues of the ‘#MeToo’ movement.

People wanted to jump on Marvel’s superhero hype train, which was speeding towards its peak. The market is now saturated with caped crusaders, making that fatigue coupled with IF could be by these shows are getting canceled.

Disney’s purchase of Marvel a decade ago saw critically/ commercially successful shows like Wolverine & The X-Men and Spectacular Spider-Man killed. Disney doesn’t want some of the money, they want all of it.

Their purchase of Star Wars was also a reason Cartoon Network’s popular Clone Wars ended. Disney wanted their own show (Rebels) on Disney XD.

The common thread is that these networks that housed their newly acquired IP’s were competition. Fans had their own “Rickyyy!” moment has they hoped their shows could survive the Mouse’s aim. Now, Netflix is their direct competitors, things are not looking bright.

Comics: Nothing Ever Stays Dead

Coleen as the new iron fist

The most obvious thing to do is to team up Luke and Danny Heroes For Hire style like in the comics. Colleen already has ties to Luke through Misty. Danny basically has a pilot already with him for their own team up show. New interesting faces like Typhoid Mary could definitely mix it up in Daredevil or Punisher.

If the other series were to take anything from Iron Fist, it is the shorter episode count. IF season 2 mostly avoided the filler slump all Marvel Netflix shows have thanks to going from 13 to 10 episodes.

Jessica Jones‘ show-runner will lead after the third season wraps up work on new project. If Iron Fist proved anything, is that the lead creative vision makes a difference. It doesn’t matter how much talented the team is if their leaders vision is as blind as Daredevil.

The quality and viewership of next season of Marvel shows will tell if Defenders gets another try and if there will even be another season for any of these titles. If the crazy praise from Daredevil season 3 is any indication, Netflix will fight to keep the other heroes.

No matter what, we are in a golden age of superhero content at the movies and television.  Luke and Danny may be gone for now, but there are still plenty of shows out there to complain about in the forums.

What do you think about these cancellations? Do you see Disney doing them justice? Ever had a glowing body part? Leave your comments!

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